Canned Evaporated Milk Is The Secret To Creamy Slow Cooker Soup

When it comes to satisfying and easy-to-make comfort food, there are few dishes that can promise the same amount of simple decadence as a bowl of creamy slow cooker soup. If properly accomplished, a soup made in the slow cooker can have the same texture as velvet and plenty of rich flavor layered in. On the stove most cooks rely on heavy cream to accomplish this, but that is known to curdle in the steady heat of a slow cooker. But there's another type of dairy you can use that will be fairly curdle-proof, and that is a trusty can of evaporated milk.

This pantry staple often makes an appearance in old-school baking and is made up of milk that has been cooked until more than half of its water content evaporates. For this reason, evaporated milk has a rich, toasty flavor and divinely creamy texture. The evaporated status makes this type of dairy perfect for the slow cooker, as it won't curdle in the low heat. Added to the crock pot with the other soup ingredients, you can expect evaporated milk to both flavor and enrich your dish.

The rich qualities of evaporated milk

First, let's discuss which recipes would welcome the addition of evaporated milk. Slow cooker versions of loaded potato soup, corn chowder, and mushroom bisque will often call for a dose of heavy cream added at the end of the soup. Instead of adding heavy cream at the end, you'll swap in an equal amount of evaporated milk at the beginning. Basically, any slow cooker soup that calls for heavy cream or milk can handle a swap-in of evaporated milk.

As for any adjustments you need to make to the recipe, besides changing the timing of the addition of the milk, you don't really need to change too much. One suggestion is to make sure that your evaporated milk is at room temperature, as the only thing that may cause it to curdle in the slow cooker is if the mix is cold. Keep in mind that this evaporated milk will make your dish taste richer, but it won't actually thicken the soup. You can always use a bit of flour or cornstarch if you're missing that added texture. Otherwise, you'll find evaporated milk the best dairy addition for your classic slow cooker favorites.